Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
 Please tell me when did alcoholism became a disease ? A disease is when the body is ill and not functioning properly .
According to Webster's dictionary , addiction is the quality or state of being addicted , and continues that it is a "compulsive need for and use of a habit forming substance (as heroin , nicotine , or alcohol) characterized by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal .
So why do alcoholics have a disease and those who abuse drugs are addicts ? Why do we tolerate the double standard ? 
An Alcoholic's Wife 
Dear Alcoholic's Wife,
In 1956 the American Medical Association decided that alcoholism is a disease. Alcoholism, according to the AMA, is a progressive and terminal disease if no intervention occurs. It leads to the break down and failure of the liver, kidneys and heart and affects the brain. There are also genetic and biological markers. They feel that alcoholism fits the definition of both mental and physical disease.
Alcoholism is classified as a 'substance abuse disorder' in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III). Mental and emotional symptoms of alcoholism exist long before the grave physical complications appear. They believe thinking of the condition as a disease diminishes the moral stigma of it and supports the idea that alcoholics aren't responsible for their behavior. And it doesn't cover social and cultural influences that may play a role in alcoholism development.

In 1988, the United States Supreme Court found that alcoholism is always the result of the alcoholics "own willful misconduct." The Supreme Court also listened to the arguments presented in favor of the 'disease' theory of alcoholism and concluded, "the inescapable fact is that there is no set agreement among members of the medical profession about the designation of alcoholism."
In conclusion, maybe the answer lies somewhere between disease and substance abuse (or addiction). They just haven't found a better term to define it.
I know it's hard to stay positive, but hang in there,

Dear Maxy , 
A dear aunt passed away about six weeks ago . Unforfortunately, I could not attend her out-of- town funeral dur to the expense and my own health issues . But I knew she loved a partular flower and I had the florist send some to the funeral home .I have heard nothing from the family , although even a short note would have been appreciated . How do I check to see whether the flowers arrived on time ? I am uncomfortable calling the family . Can I check with the florist ? Have we all lost our manners in this day and age . 
Dumfounded Niece 
Dear Dumfounded Niece ,
It can be difficult  for family  members  to put  aside their grief long enough  to send  thank-you notes  and  other acknowledgments, and it  helps  to have  friends  assist them . Yes , you can  check  with the florist . But  there is nothing  wrong with picking up the phone  to call your  relatives  and express your  condolences , share  memories  of your aunt  and in the course  of  conversation , find out whether  the flowers  were received .

DearMaxy ,
My husband and I will celebrate  our  40th anniversary soon. We've sent out 100 invitations  to a party , and  60 people have responded   saying they  will be in attendance . The final  40 people  have not  RSVP'd as of  yet . I am nervous because my wife  and I took time out  to invite our friends  and they will potentially cost us  time  and money if they don't  show  up . How  much time do you allow  for  guests  to respond  to an invitation ? 
Race Against  Time 
Dear Race Against Time ,
One of the biggest challenges  that party planners  have is  that  increasingly  these days  people  do not RSVP  for events . You are right to be concerned , but  there  are some things  you can do . Start with  checking  with your  caterer  to find out  when you have to give one final  head  count .
This is the number  that is key  for your  budget . When  you feel  you are getting  close  to that date , if  you still have  a large  number  of  people  who have not  responded , you may  want  to pick up  the  phone  or shoot them an email  to double check  their status . You can tell  the truth , that you have to give the caterer  a final count  and want  to know  if they are planning  to attend  your  party .  Do not pressure  them to come  . Simply be  kind  and direct . 

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